Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Art of Ignoring

I have been learning the art of ignoring lately.

I wish it had occurred to me before.

See, for the longest time I thought I should acknowledge pretty much every wayward action of my son and hold him accountable in some way.  Maybe that's easy to do when you have one child to focus on.  In any case, he does need to be held accountable for his actions, but I've found that ignoring certain things is actually quite effective!

Please don't get me wrong here.  I'm not endorsing leniency or laziness in parenting!  It's not like that at all.

It was actually my wise husband who said, after listening to my list of exasperating wastes of time our beloved son commits during the course of a day, said, "Try just ignoring those things that he's just doing to get attention."

Like, duh!!!!

I mean, really.  It seems so obvious now.  It's amazing what I can overlook when I get so wrapped up in the everyday trials.

So, now, if it's not a moral issue per se, I'm trying to just ignore.  Sometimes it's easier than others.  Today I gave an entire spelling test with my back toward him, pretending to be busy with other things, so that:  A) He wouldn't know I knew he was looking at his paper through a magnifying glass as he wrote his words (he absolutely was totally hoping I would notice and say something), and B) He wouldn't notice that I was trying so hard not to laugh at said magnifying glass.

He was wasting time.  It was harder for him to write while looking through a magnifying glass.  But I figure that eventually he will see how much time he is NOT able to play outside or other fun things after school because that fun time is eaten up by time-wasting activities, which I will not disclose on this public blog, but can probably be imagined by those who have or spend much time with kids. :)

Every so often, but ideally not during such an infraction, I will talk with him about time management and the benefits of not wasting time, just to make sure he's thinking about it while I "blissfully" ignore.

It's kind of mercy and natural consequences mixed together.  I think. :)

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